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amberpep
@amberpep

Posts: 610
Joined: Jul 02, 2012

~ Retired, moved closer to kids, unhappy ~

Posted by @amberpep, Oct 20, 2016

Hi folks …. well, here I am again ….. it’s been another rough week, from almost every angle, and I’m no more adjusted to this new town/state than I was last time I wrote. I have been here for a year now, and I just hate it. But I don’t feel like I can move back to where I was as my 2 girls who live in the area would be very disappointed …. and then the guilt would begin, for me. Like I’m sure I told you all in a previous message (and please forgive me for repeating myself) I lived in a condo in MD since my divorce 12 years ago. We were married for 40 years, and that was a devastating blow. I’d been home with our 3 kids the whole time, so my job skills were weak, but I was able to get a job at my church (at that time) as Asst. Children’s Ministry Pastor.
I moved here – VA – because my girls were hounding me for years to move closer to them. Cynically I wondered if it was really for me, or for their convenience as I aged, but I avoided going down that road mentally. I see my girls about once a week, so far have not been able to find a part-time job, I had to have my precious pup put to sleep 2 months ago with congestive heart failure, there is no church in the area even similar to mine, now I am in the process of getting dentures and there have been more problems with that whole thing than I can even remember. The roots of the teeth demineralized and so must be cut out. Eating pureed food for months on end is not fun, for sure. Everyone says volunteer …. that’s fine, but truthfully, I am just totally out of energy …. some days I don’t even want to get up, and others when I do get up, I don’t get dressed.
I have been going back to my therapist and Psychiatrist every other week in MD …. my girls ask “why?” They really don’t want to hear it, don’t get it, and I truly think they’re afraid to know totally. When I even start to tell them, they immediately change the subject ….. on to something else!
Why did I ever move here …. for me? No. Truthfully, I moved here for my girls to make their lives easier as I age. I’m in excellent health now at 71, but it won’t be that way forever. I’m just very, very unhappy and depressed ….. it’s like sitting in a deep black hole, covered up with a cold wet black blanket ….. calling out for help and no one will stop. I have Bipolar II, I am divorced and my X lives down this way also …. we get along as well as can be expected, but just his proximity doesn’t help me feel any better. He is a Narsassist – NPD – and is always ready and willing to let anyone within ear shot how much he is doing, how many groups he leads, how he does this and that ….. blah, blah, blah. Typical N.
I am so tempted to move back …. I own a condo which I am renting out presently, and which I loved. The comaradarie in the building was wonderful, and just walking my pup I got to meet all sorts of nice folks in the community. Everything was there …. my church, all my doctors, my friends, and my town, which I knew like the back of my hand after living in that area for over 30 years.
So, here I am, again whining about what to do. I feel rather “damned if I do and damned if I don’t.” If I move back, first it will once again be a big expense I can’t afford, and it will be like a slap in the face to my girls.
To anyone out there who is retired and thinking of moving closer to their kids ….. be sure ….. be very, very, sure. I liken my move to yanking out an old tree from the ground and replanting it in another country, and then expecting it to thrive …. maybe it will, maybe it won’t.
abby

REPLY

Abby,
I missed whatever you wrote earlier and I just read this and felt really bad for you. I was divorced after 30 years – a very unwelcome surprise – and i ended up moving away from my home town and everything I knew b/c I couldn’t afford to live there, didn’t want to keep bumping into my ex and couldn’t stand the weather. In other words, I WANTED to move, and had a miserable 1st year anyway b/c I didn’t know anyone, couldn’t find friends, everything was strange and I too was in a deep dark hole. Then the next year I was diagnosed with cancer, so I was miserable, alone and being treated for cancer TOO. Not a fun 2 years. Now, after 4 years, I am quite content, but I WANTED to come here, and I live in a retirement community where everyone is my age, there are tons of things to do, and I don’t have to work. I thought about moving closer to my kids, but their climate is miserable too, there is nothing to do where they live and they all work and have busy social lives so how often was I going to get to see them anyway? Better to live in a sunny clime and have them visit ME.

And boy do I know how no one wants to hear about depression! As if you didn’t feel alone already, to have no one strong enough to listen (b/c that’s what it takes) without trying to “fix” you is really tough. To be fair, I think people often don’t want to hear b/c either they don’t know what to say, or your depression scares them in some way. Which is why this site is so great. We all know that some days the greatest achievement of the day is getting out of bed. On a really good day you can shower and get dressed too.

Frankly, it sounds to me like you were MUCH better off where you were. Would your daughters really want you to stay in Va if they truly understood how unhappy you are? Life is short, especially at our time of life. How much of the rest of it to you want to spend feeling miserable? Would your daughters really want you to make their lives easier if the price is your misery? Have you had a heart to heart with them?

I know moving is miserable – I’m not moving again no matter what happens. But I WANT to be where i am, so my situation is different. It’s YOUR life. you get to say how it goes. Making choices to make other people happy can oh so easily backfire . . . Sometimes no one ends up happy. Not you or the people you wanted to please. At least if you do what you want you will know for sure that ONE person will be happy. i think making a plan to go back where you want to be would give you the hope you need to keep hanging in there until you have the money/comfort level/energy to act on your plan.

And we are all here to listen, so post to your heart’s content. i’ve been where you are and I’m quite sure i am not the only one.

@berit

Abby,
I missed whatever you wrote earlier and I just read this and felt really bad for you. I was divorced after 30 years – a very unwelcome surprise – and i ended up moving away from my home town and everything I knew b/c I couldn’t afford to live there, didn’t want to keep bumping into my ex and couldn’t stand the weather. In other words, I WANTED to move, and had a miserable 1st year anyway b/c I didn’t know anyone, couldn’t find friends, everything was strange and I too was in a deep dark hole. Then the next year I was diagnosed with cancer, so I was miserable, alone and being treated for cancer TOO. Not a fun 2 years. Now, after 4 years, I am quite content, but I WANTED to come here, and I live in a retirement community where everyone is my age, there are tons of things to do, and I don’t have to work. I thought about moving closer to my kids, but their climate is miserable too, there is nothing to do where they live and they all work and have busy social lives so how often was I going to get to see them anyway? Better to live in a sunny clime and have them visit ME.

And boy do I know how no one wants to hear about depression! As if you didn’t feel alone already, to have no one strong enough to listen (b/c that’s what it takes) without trying to “fix” you is really tough. To be fair, I think people often don’t want to hear b/c either they don’t know what to say, or your depression scares them in some way. Which is why this site is so great. We all know that some days the greatest achievement of the day is getting out of bed. On a really good day you can shower and get dressed too.

Frankly, it sounds to me like you were MUCH better off where you were. Would your daughters really want you to stay in Va if they truly understood how unhappy you are? Life is short, especially at our time of life. How much of the rest of it to you want to spend feeling miserable? Would your daughters really want you to make their lives easier if the price is your misery? Have you had a heart to heart with them?

I know moving is miserable – I’m not moving again no matter what happens. But I WANT to be where i am, so my situation is different. It’s YOUR life. you get to say how it goes. Making choices to make other people happy can oh so easily backfire . . . Sometimes no one ends up happy. Not you or the people you wanted to please. At least if you do what you want you will know for sure that ONE person will be happy. i think making a plan to go back where you want to be would give you the hope you need to keep hanging in there until you have the money/comfort level/energy to act on your plan.

And we are all here to listen, so post to your heart’s content. i’ve been where you are and I’m quite sure i am not the only one.

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Thank you so much for your kind and honest reply. It helps just knowing I’m not the only one who has gone through this. I would dearly love to go back to my condo, but I will give it til Spring and then see if anything has improved. If not, then my girls and I are going to have a good, honest, heart-to-heart conversation about what I want for my life. I always feel selfish at these times, but I know (in my head that I’m not. But, being alone, if I don’t watch out for myself, no one else is going to.
Thank you so much for sharing your insightful and honest response.
abby

@berit

Abby,
I missed whatever you wrote earlier and I just read this and felt really bad for you. I was divorced after 30 years – a very unwelcome surprise – and i ended up moving away from my home town and everything I knew b/c I couldn’t afford to live there, didn’t want to keep bumping into my ex and couldn’t stand the weather. In other words, I WANTED to move, and had a miserable 1st year anyway b/c I didn’t know anyone, couldn’t find friends, everything was strange and I too was in a deep dark hole. Then the next year I was diagnosed with cancer, so I was miserable, alone and being treated for cancer TOO. Not a fun 2 years. Now, after 4 years, I am quite content, but I WANTED to come here, and I live in a retirement community where everyone is my age, there are tons of things to do, and I don’t have to work. I thought about moving closer to my kids, but their climate is miserable too, there is nothing to do where they live and they all work and have busy social lives so how often was I going to get to see them anyway? Better to live in a sunny clime and have them visit ME.

And boy do I know how no one wants to hear about depression! As if you didn’t feel alone already, to have no one strong enough to listen (b/c that’s what it takes) without trying to “fix” you is really tough. To be fair, I think people often don’t want to hear b/c either they don’t know what to say, or your depression scares them in some way. Which is why this site is so great. We all know that some days the greatest achievement of the day is getting out of bed. On a really good day you can shower and get dressed too.

Frankly, it sounds to me like you were MUCH better off where you were. Would your daughters really want you to stay in Va if they truly understood how unhappy you are? Life is short, especially at our time of life. How much of the rest of it to you want to spend feeling miserable? Would your daughters really want you to make their lives easier if the price is your misery? Have you had a heart to heart with them?

I know moving is miserable – I’m not moving again no matter what happens. But I WANT to be where i am, so my situation is different. It’s YOUR life. you get to say how it goes. Making choices to make other people happy can oh so easily backfire . . . Sometimes no one ends up happy. Not you or the people you wanted to please. At least if you do what you want you will know for sure that ONE person will be happy. i think making a plan to go back where you want to be would give you the hope you need to keep hanging in there until you have the money/comfort level/energy to act on your plan.

And we are all here to listen, so post to your heart’s content. i’ve been where you are and I’m quite sure i am not the only one.

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@amberpep, I can see that you have had more than your share of unfortunate life experiences. I want to congratulate you for your desire to hold on and attempt to ‘hold it together’. Although you are currently unhappy in your present situation, I can sense an inner strength that is driving you forward. Yes, it is unfortunate that you and your daughters are not communicating about your feelings.

You say that you will wait until Spring before you make your decision about staying or returning to your condo. I wish I could sit down and visit with you over a cup of coffee! If so I would encourage you to come up with a plan. For instance, what would make you happy enough to stay where you are? Job? Social network? Church membership? Service to others? Education or learning a new skill? Hobby group? Relationship with daughters? etc. I would encourage you to , with pencil and paper, make a list of your desires and to pick 1 or 2 and develop a plan of how to accomplish them. Give your full energy to carry out this plan.
Come spring, you will be better prepared to make your decision. And at least you will have filled your time in an interesting manner!
I send you a hug,
Rosemary

Thank you so much, Rosemary, for your kind reply. I appreciate it very much. When I think about what would help me the most, it is definitely to be in a church community. I am Western Orthodox, but the closest one down this way is 1-1/2 hours away; I’ve visited the Eastern Orthodox down here – there are 2 of them, but they just don’t fit, or I didn’t fit …. whatever. Faith has always been a big part of my life, since my 20’s, as it is for my kids and their families. They are all in Evangelical/Charismatic churches, which is what I was in pre-Orthodox, and they keep wanting me to go back to that. I love them to death, and for that season that church was wonderful for me, but as I grew older I appreciated a more liturgical, contemplative, type service. They can’t understand that. I’ve thought of making the 1-1/2 hr. drive once a month to at least have connection with the W.O. church.
I think too, a big part of it was that in my condo, anytime I went out in the hall I would see a neighbor – we’d chat; when I took my dog for a walk, I’d always see “dog people friends” and we’d talk ….. I got to know a lot of nice folks during my 11 years there. It was a good building with good people. Anytime I felt lonely, all I had to do was go out into the hall or out in front with my dog. My dog had to be put down 2 months ago from congestive heart failure.
abby

How about getting another dog while living in VA? It will help you meet people just like you did in MD, I’m sure…..

@berit

Abby,
I missed whatever you wrote earlier and I just read this and felt really bad for you. I was divorced after 30 years – a very unwelcome surprise – and i ended up moving away from my home town and everything I knew b/c I couldn’t afford to live there, didn’t want to keep bumping into my ex and couldn’t stand the weather. In other words, I WANTED to move, and had a miserable 1st year anyway b/c I didn’t know anyone, couldn’t find friends, everything was strange and I too was in a deep dark hole. Then the next year I was diagnosed with cancer, so I was miserable, alone and being treated for cancer TOO. Not a fun 2 years. Now, after 4 years, I am quite content, but I WANTED to come here, and I live in a retirement community where everyone is my age, there are tons of things to do, and I don’t have to work. I thought about moving closer to my kids, but their climate is miserable too, there is nothing to do where they live and they all work and have busy social lives so how often was I going to get to see them anyway? Better to live in a sunny clime and have them visit ME.

And boy do I know how no one wants to hear about depression! As if you didn’t feel alone already, to have no one strong enough to listen (b/c that’s what it takes) without trying to “fix” you is really tough. To be fair, I think people often don’t want to hear b/c either they don’t know what to say, or your depression scares them in some way. Which is why this site is so great. We all know that some days the greatest achievement of the day is getting out of bed. On a really good day you can shower and get dressed too.

Frankly, it sounds to me like you were MUCH better off where you were. Would your daughters really want you to stay in Va if they truly understood how unhappy you are? Life is short, especially at our time of life. How much of the rest of it to you want to spend feeling miserable? Would your daughters really want you to make their lives easier if the price is your misery? Have you had a heart to heart with them?

I know moving is miserable – I’m not moving again no matter what happens. But I WANT to be where i am, so my situation is different. It’s YOUR life. you get to say how it goes. Making choices to make other people happy can oh so easily backfire . . . Sometimes no one ends up happy. Not you or the people you wanted to please. At least if you do what you want you will know for sure that ONE person will be happy. i think making a plan to go back where you want to be would give you the hope you need to keep hanging in there until you have the money/comfort level/energy to act on your plan.

And we are all here to listen, so post to your heart’s content. i’ve been where you are and I’m quite sure i am not the only one.

Jump to this post

You are welcome. I recently had an epiphany when I realized that if I had a client who took care of herself as badly as I take care of myself I would be counseling her to treat herself better. When it’s me, I hardly notice I am treating myself in a way I would not treat another woman, or advise another woman to treat herself.

Taking care of yourself is REALLY important b/c 1. you are in no position to take care of anyone else if you are not in good shape 2. you are right, if you don’t do it no one else is going to 3. it says something pretty awful about how we value ourselves that we don’t think it’s worth spending time/money/consideration/kindness on ourselves. We are NOT old, worn out dishrags only worth throwing out on the garbage heap.

My take-away: It’s time to start acting like the Queens and princesses we are. I’m quite sure Queen Elizabeth and her daughter Princess Anne have always put themselves first and would look scornfully down their royal noses at anyone who thought they should do anything differently. And while one might not want to be as haughty as they are, how we treat ourselves has more to do with how we feel about ourselves than anything else.

You have every right in the world to feel happy and do what is going to make you feel that way. And so do I. And everyone else who feels selfish when they put their happiness first. Taking care of ourselves does not mean we are treating anyone else badly. I have finely realized that it just means I giving MYSELF the respect and consideration that I am already giving everyone else. Now why wouldn’t I want to do that?

@sweatergirl

How about getting another dog while living in VA? It will help you meet people just like you did in MD, I’m sure…..

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I’m thinking about doing just that.
abby

@sweatergirl

How about getting another dog while living in VA? It will help you meet people just like you did in MD, I’m sure…..

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Good for you! Keep us updated.
Rosemary

Well, I’ve been looking for a new pup to love. I’d really like what I had before …. she was a rescue from a puppy mill … a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and just the most loving little thing. There’s a Cavalier Rescue somewhere around here, but I can’t seem to get them to respond to me. Maybe I’ll call the place where I got Molly and talk to the lady who runs it. It would be a long drive, but well worth it. But then, there are so many little mixed pups at the pound who are waiting for a home. I just seem muddled in my head right now …. can’t decide what to do even about a dog. Good grief!
abby

@amberpep

Well, I’ve been looking for a new pup to love. I’d really like what I had before …. she was a rescue from a puppy mill … a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and just the most loving little thing. There’s a Cavalier Rescue somewhere around here, but I can’t seem to get them to respond to me. Maybe I’ll call the place where I got Molly and talk to the lady who runs it. It would be a long drive, but well worth it. But then, there are so many little mixed pups at the pound who are waiting for a home. I just seem muddled in my head right now …. can’t decide what to do even about a dog. Good grief!
abby

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@amberpep Thanks for the update! Might I make a suggestion? How about a trip to the local humane society, and give it a walk-thru. I have heard many wonderful doggy love stories that have developed there!
Just look, no pressure. See what develops. I can just imagine those cute eyes and wagging tails waiting for a good home:-)
Rosemary

@amberpep

Well, I’ve been looking for a new pup to love. I’d really like what I had before …. she was a rescue from a puppy mill … a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and just the most loving little thing. There’s a Cavalier Rescue somewhere around here, but I can’t seem to get them to respond to me. Maybe I’ll call the place where I got Molly and talk to the lady who runs it. It would be a long drive, but well worth it. But then, there are so many little mixed pups at the pound who are waiting for a home. I just seem muddled in my head right now …. can’t decide what to do even about a dog. Good grief!
abby

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Hi Rosemary …..yes, that’s what I’ve decided I’m going to do. Some of those little faces are so sad, I’m afraid I’ll come home with more than one!
abby

@amberpep

Well, I’ve been looking for a new pup to love. I’d really like what I had before …. she was a rescue from a puppy mill … a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and just the most loving little thing. There’s a Cavalier Rescue somewhere around here, but I can’t seem to get them to respond to me. Maybe I’ll call the place where I got Molly and talk to the lady who runs it. It would be a long drive, but well worth it. But then, there are so many little mixed pups at the pound who are waiting for a home. I just seem muddled in my head right now …. can’t decide what to do even about a dog. Good grief!
abby

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Dear Abby,

I totally understand the “muddled-head” day. Who hasn’t had one of those, or more than one, if truth be told? I had a wonderful therapist who used to say to me, when I was having one of my many muddled head days, “You don’t need to decide that now.” For me, that was a very helpful comment b/c I was quite good a driving myself crazy with worries/decisions/concerns that DID NOT need to be decided then and there, that were not urgent, that could definitely be put of until some time way into the future when i could better deal with them, or MAYBE, would never even need to be decided at all if i just let things take there course.

I am a firm believer that when it is right, all the pieces will fall into place. When you are ready for a dog, you’ll go to the shelter and look for one. When you see the one that’s right for you, you’ll know it. When I first saw my rescue cat, I knew he was the one for me, even thought I looked at 4 or 5 others, had never had a cat before and thought I was a confirmed dog person. I just knew he was meant to be mine. He was 5 years old and he is now 14 years old. He is a “talker” with an opinion about everything and happy to share it with everyone who comes over.

Animal companions are the best. I don’t think the breed even matters as long as the personality is a good fit. As Rosemary said, “just look, no pressure”. When it’s right, it’s right. It will work out in the end.

@amberpep

Well, I’ve been looking for a new pup to love. I’d really like what I had before …. she was a rescue from a puppy mill … a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and just the most loving little thing. There’s a Cavalier Rescue somewhere around here, but I can’t seem to get them to respond to me. Maybe I’ll call the place where I got Molly and talk to the lady who runs it. It would be a long drive, but well worth it. But then, there are so many little mixed pups at the pound who are waiting for a home. I just seem muddled in my head right now …. can’t decide what to do even about a dog. Good grief!
abby

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My service dog, Barnabas, died suddenly in February, though the vet had told me a week earlier that he had years left in him. I still mourn. I decided to look at the shelters around my area, and found that a lot of the dogs were big, or pit bulls. But in March, I stopped by the Humane shelter in my town, and found Sadie, a 2 year old McNabb, and we instantly fell in love with each other. I’ve been training her to be my service dog, and she’s doing wonderfully. I always recommend the shelter. So many animals need our love, and we need theirs.

@amberpep

Well, I’ve been looking for a new pup to love. I’d really like what I had before …. she was a rescue from a puppy mill … a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and just the most loving little thing. There’s a Cavalier Rescue somewhere around here, but I can’t seem to get them to respond to me. Maybe I’ll call the place where I got Molly and talk to the lady who runs it. It would be a long drive, but well worth it. But then, there are so many little mixed pups at the pound who are waiting for a home. I just seem muddled in my head right now …. can’t decide what to do even about a dog. Good grief!
abby

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What a wonderful story! That’s what I’ll do when the time comes.
abby

@amberpep

Well, I’ve been looking for a new pup to love. I’d really like what I had before …. she was a rescue from a puppy mill … a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and just the most loving little thing. There’s a Cavalier Rescue somewhere around here, but I can’t seem to get them to respond to me. Maybe I’ll call the place where I got Molly and talk to the lady who runs it. It would be a long drive, but well worth it. But then, there are so many little mixed pups at the pound who are waiting for a home. I just seem muddled in my head right now …. can’t decide what to do even about a dog. Good grief!
abby

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You are so right …. when it’s the right time, I’ll know it! That’s funny ….. I always thought I was only a cat person, not a dog person. Well, Molly sure changed that! Now I’m both a cat and dog person!
abby

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